The Disposers

Inspired by a Trip to the Dump:

How kind of these birds to help us,
screaming their delight
or their reproaches — who can know? —
as they orbit low.

Above the black mountain they inhale
the aroma, rotten smells that tantalize.
Man’s refuse, ravens’ delight
creatures of day and night.

What do they think of such profligates?
“How wasteful these people — all this good food!
Or do they imagine we offer to them?
“Such thoughtful men.”

Screaming, poking, doing battle
with crickets for the choicest bits,
they pull from the pile whatever
they can between the rattle and roar
of trucks bearing yet more slag —
splitting plastic bags.

We frown at their presence ungratefully,
despise their ceaseless gloating, yet
how busy do we keep those birds!
And you’ll never see them shirk
their useful work.

We sneer and say, “What vile profession!”
As if we were not partner here,
while they dispose of our debris,
the dregs of our prosperity,
and we get off so free.

Overheard

Friday Fiction chimes again in Promptland and dings in my InBox, aided by the sweet purple Tinklebell, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Many thanks to her for presiding over this notorious party-line and to J Hardy Carroll for contributing the picture that nudges our creativity this week.

It took some doing to squeeze my contribution into 100 words but I made it. The seed for this tale was planted when I worked with a fellow who peddled drugs on the side. Being on the opposite side of the spectrum from me, he was hostile and would have been delighted to see me quit, but thankfully no plotting like the type in my story.

Photo © J Hardy Carroll

“Yeah, he hates me, but I never thought he’d go this far. And he’ll have planted enough so I’m nailed for trafficking, not just possession. You saved my life, pal!”

“I’m blown away! Sure, I recognized your coworker, but hearing your name, then ‘One call to the RCMP and she’ll be in for years.’ What’s chances I’d be right there to catch that?”

“I’ll head for the nearest police station, tell them what you overheard and ask them to search my car — before they come looking for me.”

“I’d call this one amazing happenstance!”

“I’d call it a miracle.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve been away from writing for awhile, wandering through the DropBox Thousand file-lands to gather material for my upcoming book of poems and short stories. I need a better filing system! I’ve made ten sections in my book and putting each item in the right section has involved a lot of shuffling since some stories would work in several sections.

Once the manuscript was ready to be formatted, I converted it from Word Perfect to MS Word — and the fun began! My first plan (four years ago) was for a print book so I (misguidedly) purchased a number of graphics. Now I added them to my e-book file and the switch from WP to Word has thrown things out of sync big time. I don’t have Word myself, so I must take my file to our son-in-law’s computer when I want to open and read it. Which I did and was rather dismayed…

I’ve decided to do an e-book format only — but you rarely see e-books with graphics. So I’ve a question for you seasoned writers: Would you add small box graphics to illustrate an e-book of poems and (mostly) short tales?

I’ve also been beta-reading a book for Florida Pastor JS Park, who’s writing about depression with an aim to helping both those who suffer and those who want to empathize. He hopes to help readers find a better understanding and ability to cope. The book is live on Amazon.com now; you can find it here: How Bad It Really Is: A Short, Honest Book About Depression.

The Journey that Makes You Kind

Struck out

Struck out!

To the victorious:
the ribbons, the cheers,
the flush of accolades.

To the defeated
who’ve also run the race:
the pain, the tears.

Remember, my son
those who’ve tried and failed;
walk a mile in their shoes.
The journey will make you kind.

C.G.

From my upcoming book, Silver Morning Song

Old Grandma Shoes

OLD GRANDMA SHOES
Author Unknown

When I was very little
All the Grandmas that I knew
Were wearing the same kind
Of ugly grandma shoes.
You know the kind I mean. . .
Clunky heeled, black, lace-up kind,

They just looked so very awful
That it weighed upon my mind,
For I knew, when I grew old,
I’d have to wear those shoes.
I’d think of that, from time to time
It seemed like such bad news.

I never was a rebel,
I wore saddle shoes to school,
And next came ballerinas
Then the sandals, pretty cool.
And then came spikes with pointed toes
Then platforms, very tall,

As each new fashion came along
I wore them, one and all.
But always, in the distance,
Looming in my future, there,
Was that awful pair of ugly shoes,
The kind that Grandmas wear.

I eventually got married
And then I became a Mom.
Our kids grew up and left,
And when their children came along,
I knew I was a Grandma
And the time was drawing near

When those clunky, black, old lace up shoes
Was what I’d have to wear.
How would I do my gardening
Or take my morning hike?
I couldn’t even think about
How I would ride my bike!
But fashions kept evolving
And one day I realized
That the shape of things to come
Was changing, right before my eyes.

And now, when I go shopping
What I see fills me with glee.
For, in my jeans and Reeboks
I’m as comfy as can be.
And I look at all these little girls
And there, upon their feet
Are clunky, black, old Grandma shoes,
And I really think that’s neat.

Poetic Insight Needed

Good afternoon every one. I decided on Saturday that, with what I have up this week, I’d take a mini-break from blogging. But now I want to ask your opinion on a little verse I plan to include in my book — in fact it’s from this verse that I’ve taken the title.

Going back to last week, I was working on my book, Silver Morning Song, trying to get it ready to be formatted as an e-book. I also had an event to prepare for on Saturday: our local Christian bookstore was sponsoring an event and I was given a two-hour slot at their writers’ book signing tables. This was for The Rescuing Day, the cover of which is displayed at right. (Details in the My Books section under the header.)

It was an interesting day. None of us who brought books had huge sales but you have to count it as an opportunity to get your name out there. I had small postcards made up advertising my book and also my blog; I handed out a number of these and sold a few books.

Now that is behind me and this week I have two heavy irons in the fire. I’m still going over my own book, plus beta reading a book on depression written by Pastor J S Park. So I shut off the e-mail notifications on “Blogs I Follow” to cut down on the distractions while I finish these two projects.

But now I’ve come to this one tiny poem, included in my first compilation four years back. It’s from this haiku that I got the title for my book of poems and short stories.

Silver morning dew
distills on silent farm yard
sleeping cat stretches

But then I titled it Silver Morning and upgraded it to:

Silver morning dew
distills on silent farm yard
sleepy cat stretches
songbirds herald the dawn.

And finally, for more connection to the title of the book, I may tweak the title and publish it like so:

Silver Morning Song

Morning dew distills
on silent farm yard,
sleepy cat stretches,
songbirds herald the dawn
with silver morning song.

So, which do you think sounds better the blue the pink or the green? If you have any opinion or suggestion please leave a comment.  Thanks much!

Old Man Green

by Edgar Guest

Old Man Green you’ve never heard of,
papers never used a word of
him or anything he did.
Seems as though his light was hid
day by day from mortal eyes,
wasn’t clever, great or wise;
just a carpenter who made
odds and ends and liked his trade.

Old Man Green lived over there
in that humble cottage, where
five plump babies came to bless
those small rooms with happiness
and as time went on they grew
just as rich men’s children do:
three smart boys and two fine girls
with the prettiest of curls.

Old Man Green from day to day
put up shelves to earn his pay,
took the little that he made
following faithfully his trade
and somehow his wife and he
managed it most carefully
and five children, neat and clean,
answered to the name of Green.

Old Man Green with saw and plane
little from the world could gain,
but with that small sum he earned
many things his children learned.
“Those Green boys,” the teachers said,
“Have the stuff to get ahead.
Finest girls we’ve ever seen,
little Kate and Mary Green.”

This is all there is to tell,
boys and girls are doing well;
each with courage and with grace
fills in life an honored place.
Old Man Green is dead and gone,
but his worth is shining on;
this his praise, if praise be needed,
As a father he succeeded.

From his book The Light of Faith
©1926 by the Reilly & Lee Co.